Our Collection

At the Institute’s core is the Gilder Lehrman Collection, one of the great archives in American history. More than 70,000 items cover five hundred years of American history, from Columbus’s 1493 letter describing the New World to soldiers’ letters from World War II and Vietnam. Explore primary sources, visit exhibitions in person or online, or bring your class on a field trip.

Morris, Wilmor W. (fl. 1861-1862) to: "Dear Friend."

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC06451.038 Author/Creator: Morris, Wilmor W. (fl. 1861-1862) Place Written: Camp Hays, [Washington, D.C.] Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 1861/09/15 Pagination: 4 p.

A guard "charged on the bush with 4 men expecting to find a man with a cigar in his mouth" but found only a firebug. He has received more of his uniform now. He saw two "female soldiers" passing on the road with "blue velvet wa[i]st and a dark skirt to the knee and blue pants…tha [they] look grand." There was a dance and he and several friends "got fo[u]r shirts and made dresses so we imitation [imitated] ladys." General Kearney said his men would have to fight by the beginning of next month or they "would be sirrounded [surrounded] so that thare provisions would be impos[s]ible to get" but "one half of thare armey is not fit for active service [and] thare are [they are] with out cloathing and arms."

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